The Black Hills of South Dakota are not only known for their pristine beauty, but also their history. In the late 1800s, pioneers and prospectors from the eastern U.S. settled in the Black Hills, with high hopes of striking it rich in the gold rush of 1876-77. This lead to clashes with the native Sioux tribes, who consider the land sacred to this day. Towns like Deadwood, Hill City and Custer are chock-full of all sorts of Old West history and landmarks.
Although times have obviously changed, you can still experience the same trails they did in the old west…on horseback! This week, we’re going to give you some of the best horseback trail ride barns in the Black Hills, so you can experience this unique adventure with the whole family. Most all the Forest Service roads and trails in the Black Hills are open to horses, but some require a user fee. For the purpose of this post, we’re recommending guided tours. Read on to find some great rides!
Capture the spirit of the Old West at Rockin’ R! They offer trail rides anywhere from 1-3.5 hours, all in the shadow of the gigantic Crazy Horse Monument. They offer safety-conscious rides with gentle, seasoned horses and knowledgeable guides.
2. The Stables at Palmer Gulch - Hill City
With both a guided horseback trail ride and an authentic Old West Chuckwagon Dinner, the Stables at Palmer Gulch is one of the more popular. In business for over 50 years, they offer rides through Deadwood, Custer and Keystone.
3. Andy's Trail Rides - Lead
With Andy, you’ll ride up secluded elk trails in the mountains of Deadwood/Lead. You’ll ride your horse over fallen logs and creeks, and at the end, you’ll be at the top of a mountain with an 85-mile view! This is a different style trail ride but is definitely worth it!
4. Hurley Butte Horseback - Interior
Many people visit the area for the Black Hills, but the Badlands are another scenic spectacle right outside Rapid City. You’ll ride through the beauty that is the Badlands, which offers a stark contrast to the backdrop of mountains. This desert-like terrain is perfect for a trail ride!
5. Hollingsworth Horses - Custer
This family-run barn is open year-round, and they’ll even match your trail horse to your personality! You’ll need to make reservations, but they’ll accommodate almost any type of ride you’d like to do. They’ll also make sure you only ride with your own group, not strangers.
There are all sorts of great attractions in the Black Hills area, but if you haven’t been horseback riding, give it a shot! You won’t be disappointed. There’s so much to see on horseback that you wouldn’t get a chance to otherwise. Give Midwest Outdoor Resorts a ring at (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be happy to help plan your next Black Hills adventure. Happy exploring!